Necky Looksha IV "Advanced Composite"

Still checking out touring boats…I’ve paddled my husband’s Looksha IV (fiberglass) a few times and except for the seat, didn’t have any complaints.

Now he’s located a really tempting deal on a newer Looksha IV. I looked at it today. The seat is MUCH improved over his 02 and it’s made of an “advanced composite”, which is lighter than his boat. The Necky web site says its stronger and more durable.

I know the Necky has a weathercocking issue, but it come with a rudder that could be used in adverse conditions.

So I’m looking for input, especially on the material.



Safety Issue
I am not a fan of the Looksha boats and I know there are others who strongly disagree. None-the-less, the Looksha IV weathercocks strongly without the rudder. I regard that as a safety issue since rudders do malfunction. Since there are many designs that do not have this problem, why would you choose a design that does? There is nothing about the Looksha IV that balances the risk of being unable to control it in conditions if the rudder fails. And there are lots of boats out there that behave much better in stronger winds and waves without a rudder.

When I owned a Looksha IV, I had more trouble with lee-cocking than weather cocking - due to trim issues I suppose.

I think the L-IV is an awesome kayak for learning to edge - loads of extra secondary for security after you get it over far enough for the edge to make a real difference turning.

Not to say I love it - sold mine afterall, but I think you could do a whole lot worse. Necky construction is nice as far as I have seen so, if it is a good deal, buy it. You can always sell.

I only had 'cocking problems in very
strong wind.

the material is fiberglass
unless it’s a carbon version. Either way it’s a good construction but how it paddles is most important. If one boat weighed ten more pounds than another boat but I really liked how the heavier one paddles that’s the one I’d get. Get it because you like how it paddles, if you do and the price is good, why not get it?

How big are you?
Looksha IV, w/o getting into a debate about being rudder-dependent, is a boat that fits a 6 ft plus guy quite well. Unless you are very large for a female, you’d have an easier time handling something like the Elaho or, if an average sized woman, the Eliza. Still available with a rudder, and the Elaho does tend to be rudder-dependent, but within the Necky line these are likely much better boats for you than the Looksha IV. Especially if you have to recover some fitness - pushing a boat that is bigger than you need is only inviting injury.

The fact that you can take it over on edge and it stays there really easily may indicate more than secondary stability (which it has plenty of). It may indicate that you are so under-volume for the boat that it’s unduly hard for you to get it onto edge. On the flats that can be comforting, but if you get caught in some wind and need to turn a bear like that, as above say the rudder has failed, you could be unable to get it around the way you need. Your husband is probably larger than you and unaware of the sizing issue, because the boat responds fine for him.

Great to hear that you are recovered from all the treatments and on the water. For that, your reward should be a boat that’ll make it a little easier for you out there.

Big Boat
The Looksha IV dominated outfitters fleets for years along the coast of Maine. I played in a friend’s ‘sha IV the year before last.

I’m 6’ tall and weigh about 180. The Looksha IV felt very big to me. I managed to roll it but it wasn’t a joy.

My friend is about 6’4" and well over 200 pounds. The Looksha IV seemed to fit him well. He did find it weathercocked and was not as easy to control as the Explorer HV he now paddles.

Unless you are a large person, a lower volume boat may be easier to paddle and more enjoyable.

Not for small paddler
My wife is 120 lbs and could not handle the glass Looksha in the wind. Not enough boat in the water. Needed 30-40 lbs of ballast.

I have and still paddle a Looksha IV.

The weathercocking comments are spot on. This boat does weathercock sooner/worse than most boats. It begins to get noticeable with only a moderate breeze. With the rudder down, it’s not an issue.

As for rolling the Looksha IV… I find it to be a very easy boat to roll.

Clearly, the Looksha is an older design and there are some really nice newer models out there. What is still to like about the L4?.. it’s great combination of speed and maneuverability. There are also some incredible deals out there.

Yea, and its the deal that made this so enticing. But the weather-cocking issue can be a big one since I want this boat for open water and gulf side paddle excursions.

Being an average size female, I can see where some folks would consider it too much boat. I’m still paddling my Kestrel, loving it, but still want something easier to push up against an outgoing tide or heavy winds.

Thanks for talking some sense into me.

Celia, I’ve been taking some classes at the local wellness center-platese (sp) for upper body, core and balance and zoomba for lower body, aerobics and fun! Truthfully, I can’t do all the stuff yet but I keep trying…

I’m still hung up on the CD Cypress, cost and availablity still an issue there.

Thanks again all fro your advise.

See ya on the water,


ahh, average sized

– Last Updated: Apr-23-08 8:42 PM EST –

and you want the most efficient hull for your hp for wind and currents.

I'd look at a QCC600 over a LookshaIV. The slipperiest hull will be best for moving against the current and lower windage with less overhangs.

You're taking a big drop in stability with the 600 compared to the Kestrel but you REALLY want to be in a smaller kayak if cruising efficiency and control are paramount.

I don't think you could go wrong with the 600. If the stability isn't to your choosing there are other boats like the Eliza but still,, for minimal effort for a given speed the 600 is a good beginning.

yep, hold off on the Looksh, if you're looking at the Cypress and the Looksha is tempting because the price your priorities are skewed, you can't paddle money. A used Caribou would probably be better than a Looksha if you were comfortable with a non-ruddered boat.

You really are in a buyers market,,if there's a deal on a LookshaIV there's going to be deals on other boats. A friends store has had a glass Caribou on sale for half a year now,,or did. I haven't checked recently.

Other idea
Capella 161, if you can get a good deal on one in a light layup - P&H boat. Good all around boat and should be good for your size, not particularly fussy and decent hull speed.